It was definitely supposed to be a happy and exciting month in the life of actress Evgenia Dudina, who took on a leading role in one of the most intriguing productions in Israeli theater, "Richard III", which was staged at the Gesher Theater, directed by Itay Tiran.
In the play, which premiered just before the war broke out and everything stopped, Dudina, brilliantly casting, plays the male role of the king, whom she managed to play a total of four times. "Everything in this production was a dream come true," she smiles sadly, "I also returned to the bridge after 17 years, I also got this role and with me Tiran directs me. As soon as we decided on 'Richard III,' it was clear to me that I was terminating my contract in Germany."
Germany has been Dudina's creative place for the past three years. She starred in Stuttgart's Stadttheater, which was one of the first to express support for Israel at the outbreak of the war. "The director of the theater, Burkhard Kozminsky, gave a big interview in the German media and expressed a very clear position regarding their support for us. When the war began, they hung the Israeli flag on the building, and although they tried to burn the flag, they left it. I hear from Israeli friends who work in Europe in the theater world that there aren't many voices there who clearly declare support for us, whereas he did it with emotion and concern. Among other things, he contacted me, asked how my family was doing, and even offered me to stay with him."
The curtain that fell on the theater sent Dudina looking for new avenues and trying to contribute in creative ways. "I looked for what could be done, I tried all kinds of things - sweeping the floor, making sandwiches for the soldiers, planting lettuce in the fields, visiting the families in the abductees' square and recording informational films. I'm constantly looking for something to do, and I'd love to do more."
"Touched our wound"
Advocacy in Russian is one of the most important things for her, at a time when we are fighting a battle for hearts and minds in the world. "It's a mission for me, a moral obligation of mine as a person. There is not enough information in Russian, but there are all kinds of very beautiful initiatives. They ran a marathon of Russian-speaking people from all over the world, raising close to a million dollars. I also filmed an informational video on Kan 11, which will be uploaded soon, and there is a new initiative, a kind of Yad Vashem in Russian on October 7, in which we read the names of the murdered on Instagram with their pictures."
You'll be back on stage soon. Do you believe the audience will come?
"We already have dates for December, and I believe the audience will come, everyone is looking for some breathing room, to get out of this situation, and art is a very big medicine. It will be a different experience for me. Unequivocally.
"I think about the fact that in October I should have stood on stage and enjoyed playing evil incarnate, but the real evil was ahead of me and huge. If you say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then in Richard's case, the road to heaven is paved with hell, and that's what makes this play timeless.
"In rehearsals, with Itai's brilliant direction, I cried over how much he touched this wound of ours. I'm sure I'll play it differently. I don't know how yet, but it will be with a lot of pain. A different kind of pain that we have not known until now, pain that we all experience in our own flesh. Holocaust."
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